PSD and WordPress themes are two terms that don’t need introduction in the world of web designing. PSD is basically a Photoshop Document created by Adobe Photoshop. It is a workable file that lets you save and edit parts of the image into separate jpeg or png files. This is the file where you can pour out all your creative abilities to create your custom designs. You can open a PSD file in Photoshop and carry out any editing operations any time.

What WordPress Themes Are?

Assuming that you’re new to WordPress themes, allow me to explain it in a simplest form to you. Consider WordPress themes similar to your smartphone themes. Just as a mobile theme decides the look and feel of your phone – the icons and the wallpaper, the navigation and the likes; a WordPress theme provides the basic visual identity to your website or blog.

A WordPress theme is basically a group of files, technically called as templates, which decide the basic look and feel of your website.

WordPress started out as an open source blogging platform and has grown into one of the most popular website creating tools that non-programmers are so thankful for. It lets you create your own blogs and simple websites without having to learn the complexities of web programming. It lets you add more functionality with its hundreds of readymade plugins that you can easily use. WordPress themes are one of the basic building blocks of a WordPress website. Themes are nothing but the design layout of the website that you create and it is also known as a template.

Converting PSD to WordPress themes

WordPress provides you with a range of prebuilt themes that you can easily include in your web pages. But what if you wanted to create your own custom design to make yourself unique? You need some way to transfer the design from a picture to a website. This conversion may sound complex but is quite easy if you follow the following 5 steps.

Step 1: Slicing your PSD

The craft of converting your PSD into a WordPress theme starts with cutting. You slice your PSD and divide it into separate image files so that each design component is effectively saved as a separate design file. You can make use of any photo editing software or more preferably Adobe Photoshop to slice your PSD files.

Make a mental note of what are all the things that you will need to load as an image in your web page. More web images mean slower web page. So try to optimize the images. Decide what needs to be static and what should be created dynamically.

An easy way to slice your PSD is to look for these components first.

  • Background
  • header and separator
  • Footer and others

And be careful when you slice your components. Even a single mismatch of pixels can make your final page look messy.

Step 2: Create index.html and Style.css 

Now the next step is to reach to the programming world from the designing world. But it is going to be fairly simple. From the PSD design that you have crafted, create a static HTML and CSS template. It is better to name the files index.html and Style.css for future use.

There are several software packages like Dreamweaver and Fireworks that let you do this step very easily. But learning a little bit of HTML and CSS is not going to be a waste of time. So follow some basic tutorials you can find in sites like W3Schools, TutsPlus and developer communities to gear up for your web page designing.

Place your images and sliced up components into their right positions with the help of index.html and the corresponding CSS file. You can follow a responsive web design to make sure your site looks beautiful on all screens.


Step 3: Break down your index.html into WordPress theme file structure

Now you have the basic template ready and you need to port it to the WordPress environment. But before you do that you may require a little knowledge on how things are organised in WordPress.

WordPress has a specific file structure that you need to follow. You are basically going to upload your web page to WordPress themes and WordPress software should work with it seamlessly so that the plugins and additional functionalities can be added without any hassle or incompatibility issues. So go by the WordPress standard file structure and break your index.html file accordingly into the necessary .php files.

Two major files that make up a WordPress theme are the index.php and the style.css files. Besides these, a typical WordPress theme consists of many PHP files for the basic features like header.php, archive.php, sidebar.php, footer.php and so on. So now it is your duty to carry out this kind of compartmentalisation of code and break up your index.html into the necessary feature .php files. Don’t worry if you find this task intimidating. There are so many free tutorials out there that can help you carry out this task like walking in a breeze.

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